Christmas turkey with homemade gravy, roast potatoes, veg and pork and onion stuffing

A step-by-step guide to the perfect Christmas feast

Christmas turkey with homemade gravy, roast potatoes, veg and pork and onion stuffing

Christmas turkey with homemade gravy, roast potatoes, veg and pork and onion stuffing

Serves Serves 10
Time Cooks In5 hours
DifficultyShowing off
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 611 31%
  • Fat 27.2g 39%
  • Saturates 7.5g 38%
  • Sugars 5.1g 6%
  • Salt 1.3g 22%
  • Protein 82.5g 165%
  • Carbs 7.7g 3%
Of an adult's reference intake
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  • 1 x 5 kg free-range turkey
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 100 g unsalted butter , (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 clementines
  • 1 litre organic chicken stock , fresh if you can get it
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 splash red wine
  • 4 onions
  • 1 large handful of dried fruit , such as apricots, cranberries, prunes, dates
  • 1 large handful of mixed unsalted nuts , such as almonds, shelled pistachios, pine nuts
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 75 g stale bread
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 300 g higher-welfare pork mince
  • 1 kg parnsips
  • 1.5 kg red-skinned potatoes
  • 500 g small carrots
  • 300 g shallots
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
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  1. Remove the turkey from of the fridge 1 hour in advance to come up to room
  2. For the stuffing, peel and finely chop the onions, roughly chop the dried fruit and nuts, and pick the thyme leaves. Whiz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor.
  3. Heat a lug of oil in a large pan on a medium heat, then add the onion. Cook for around 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly. Add the allspice, dried fruit, nuts, thyme and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool completely.
  4. Once cool, add the pork mince and breadcrumbs to the bowl and scrunch everything together with clean hands. Reserve about half the stuffing for the turkey, then transfer the rest to a greased baking dish (approximately 20cm). Spread it out in an even layer, keeping it rough on top, then put aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to full whack. Rinse the turkey under the cold tap, then
    pat it dry, inside and out, with kitchen paper.
  6. Peel and crush the garlic, finely grate the lemon zest, then pick and roughly chop the thyme and rosemary. In a small bowl, mix the soft butter, garlic, lemon zest, half the thyme and rosemary leaves and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Push your finger and thumb between the skin and the flesh around the main cavity to make a gap and use a spatula to push in the butter. Squash the skin back down and use your hands to smooth and spread the butter under the skin. Open up the neck cavity and pack in the reserved stuffing. Pull the skin over the cavity and tuck it under the bird.
  8. Drizzle the bird with oil and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then rub this into the meat. Cut the zested lemon in half and place in the empty cavity.
  9. Peel and roughly chop the onion, trim and roughly chop the celery and carrot, then place in a large roasting tray with the turkey on top. Cover with tin foil then place in the hot oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Cook for about 35 to 40 minutes per kilo – the 5kg bird in this recipe will take about 3 to 3½ hours.
  10. Check your turkey every 30 minutes or so – spoon over any juices from the
    bottom of the tray to keep it juicy. After 2½ hours, remove the foil so the skin crisps up. Thirty minutes before the turkey is ready, mix the remaining herbs with oil and scatter over the bird. Halve and add the clementines to the tray and leave in for the remaining cooking time.
  11. To check the turkey is cooked, stick a small sharp knife into the fattest part
    of the thigh. If the juices run clear and the meat pulls apart easily, it’s ready. If not, cook it for a bit longer then check again. Once done, transfer the turkey to a serving platter and turn the oven up to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Cover the turkey with tin foil and 2 clean tea towels to keep it warm. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes while you cook your veg, stuffing and gravy.
  12. For the roast potatoes and veg, peel the parsnips, scrub the potatoes and carrots, then peel and halve the shallots. Break the garlic bulb up into cloves. Parboil the baby carrots in a pan of boiling salted water on a high heat for 5 minutes. Drain them in a colander and leave to steam dry. Chop the potatoes into 2cm chunks and peel and halve the parsnips lengthways.
  13. Add the veg to 2 large roasting trays with the shallots. Crush the garlic cloves with the heel of your hand and pick the rosemary leaves. Add both
    to the trays along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle everything generously with oil and toss well to coat. Roast in the hot oven along with the stuffing for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  14. When the veg and stuffing are in the oven, warm the stock in a pan on a
    medium heat. Skim most of the fat away from the roasting tray, then stir in the flour, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the sticky bits from the bottom.
  15. Place on a medium heat and add the red wine. Once that has cooked away, pour in the stock, bring it all to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until you get a good consistency.
  16. Carefully pour the gravy through a sieve into a serving jug, using a spoon to push all that goodness through. Discard anything left in the sieve. Carve your turkey in the kitchen or at the table, and serve with all the usual trimmings.


The best bit of advice I can give you is to buy a good meat thermometer
to make sure your turkey is cooked through. Along with the checks I’ve given you in the recipe, stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and the deepest part of the thigh – when the temperature reaches at least 72ºC, the turkey is ready to come out.